Finucane elected to Niagara Track & Field Hall of Fame

Friday, July 27, 2012

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (July 27, 2012) – The Niagara Track & Field Hall of Fame proudly announced their Class of 2012 on Friday, with former ETSU standout Mark Finucane elected as one of four inductees.

Finucane – a four-time All-American at ETSU from 1975-79 – joins Penn State’s Dr. Alan L. Jones, Cornell’s Stephen M. Machooka and Eastern Kentucky’s Susan L Schaefer Morgan as the four members of the 2012 class. The Buffalo, N.Y., native will be inducted on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at the awards banquet to be held at the Holiday Inn – Buffalo Airport.

Members of the Class of 2012

- Buffalo native Mark J. Finucane, is one of the top male distance runners from Western New York, where he starred at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs.  Finucane, who excelled in Cross Country running, continued his outstanding running career at East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, TN, where he earned All-American status four-times (1975 NCAA Cross-Country, 1975 USTFF Cross-Country, 1976 AAU Cross-Country, 1979 USTFF Cross-Country) and was named the 1977 Ohio Valley Conference Cross Country Runner of the Year.  He was a member of three United States National teams (1986 USA World Cup Marathon Team, Japan; 1981 USA International Cross-Country Team, Paris, France; 1979 USA World Cross-Country Team, Ireland).  Finucane won the 1984 TAC National 10km Road Race, running 29:55.  Locally, Finucane won the Buffalo Turkey Trot in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983.  He qualified for the 1984 US Olympic Marathon Trials with his third place finish in the 1984 Houston Marathon (2:11:55).  His time was the eighth fastest marathon debut (third fastest American debut).  Finucane has been honored many times for his running performances, dating back to his high school years.  He was the St. Francis High School Sportsman of the Year in 1974, Niagara AAU Male Athlete of the Year (all sports) in 1976, was inducted into the St. Francis High School Athletic Hall of Fame in their Class of 1979, the East Tennessee State University Athletic Hall of Fame in their Class of 1997, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2001, and the Western New York Running Hall of Fame in their Class of 2011.  Finucane currently lives in Johnson City, TN, where he is Assistant Chief with the Johnson City Fire Department.

- Ridley Park, PA native and Penn State University graduate Dr. Alan L. Jones is the inventor of the Jones Counter, in 1971, which is used to measure virtually all road running courses in the world (including every Olympic Marathon since 1976 and major races like the London Marathon).  Jones scored a cross country race by computer in 1970 and developed the RunScore program in 1985, which is one of the most popular road race, triathlon, and cross country running race management programs available.  He also developed the age-gender grading tables and worked to create age-grade factors for most road race distances, which have been adopted by the USATF for grading Master’s performances.  Jones was inducted into the Running USA Hall of Champions in February 2007, the Jones Counter is in the Running Hall of Fame in Utica, NY, and received the 2011 Pioneer Award from ChronoTrack Systems.  Jones currently resides in Endwell, NY (near Binghamton) and is an adjunct professor at Binghamton University where he has written educational seismology programs that are used at the Smithsonian and by CBS News.

- Stephen M. Machooka was the first Kenyan track athlete to run at a US College when he entered school at Cornell University in 1960 and is considered the first great Kenyan to grace the American collegiate scene.  He didn't follow the Kenyan running revolution, he led it.  Machooka dominated college Cross Country running in the Fall of 1961, the season in which he became the IC4A individual Cross Country Champion and the Ivy League (Heptagonals) individual Cross Country Champion, during a season where he won six straight cross country races.  He became the first black cross-country runner to gain first-team status honors at the Heptagonal games.  His 1961 Cross Country performances resulted in him being featured on the cover of “Track & Field News” after dominating the East Coast Cross Country scene.  Machooka set the course record at Franklin Park in Boston, set Cornell University records in the indoor one mile, and twice in the outdoor one mile run (first running 4:10.8, breaking the school record held by Olympian John Paul Jones in 1961, and then 4:10.5 in1963).  Machooka died following a heart attack in Kitale Kisuma, Kenya on January 1, 2002.

- Susan L. Schaefer Morgan, a native of Clarence, NY, and a 1977 graduate, was a star of the Clarence High School Girl’s track team and ran as fifth person on the Boy’s Cross Country team during her Junior and Senior years.  She won the National AAU Junior 3000 meter run Championship in 1977 with a meet record time (9:28.77).  Schaefer followed her high school success with an even more successful college career at Eastern Kentucky University.  At EKU, Schaefer was a four-time AIAW All-American (Cross Country in 1977, 3,000 meters in 1978, 5000 meters in 1978 and 1981), and six time Ohio Valley Conference Champion (Cross Country twice – 1977 and 1981, 1,500 meters in 1981, 3,000 meters in 1981, and 5,000 meters in 1978 and 1981).  (The AIAW as the college women’s governing body prior to them joining the NCAA in the 1982)  She set two Ohio Valley Conference track records in 1981 (3,000 meters (still standing) and 5,000 meters) and two Eastern Kentucky School Records (3,000 meters (currently second on the EKU All-Time List) and 5,000 meters (still standing)) in 1978.  Schaefer has received many honors including being voted 1977 Clarence High School Female Athlete of the Year, being inducted in the inaugural class of the Clarence High School Wall of Fame in 2003, being named Ohio Valley Conference women’s Cross Country Runner of the Year in 1980, and being elected to the Eastern Kentucky University Athletics Hall of Fame in their Class of 2011 (whose first class was inducted in November 2006).  Schaefer Morgan is currently living in Barnesville, OH where she works at a teacher and coaches the track and cross country teams Barnesville High School.

For more information on Buccaneer cross country and track and field, visit www.ETSUBucs.com

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